Issues

Here is a glimpse into my very own ‘quirky’ brain and maybe a bit of encouragement or inspiration for you. Today while working on the computer, I was halfway plugged into my tunes so that I was still listening and monitoring the kiddos.

On comes a song that I feel in love with a while ago. Issues, by James Durban.

If you don’t know who James Durban is, let me share the little bit that I know about him. He was a contestant on American Idol back in 2011. There was something about him that totally won me over and I was a fan. Then he did a cover of Uprising by Muse. James’ version is very hard to find but totally worth watching. He didn’t go on to win the show but, over the course of it, we learned how special he is. Shortly after his father’s death when he was 9 years old, James was diagnosed Tourette’s and Asperger’s syndrome. Parents of our kind of kiddos know that Asperger’s is no longer a term used but is now called High-Functioning Autism. Other reasons to appreciate him aside from his talent is his devotion to his family and determination to not let his “issues” get in the way of what he dreams to do: of showing his talent. Not all of our quirky kids are singers or musicians but, they all have areas they are especially talented at. They all have dreams.

His song “Issues” has always spoken to me as an anthem of sorts for our special kids. His lyrics are simple, yet powerful. I can’t even decide which verses are the best to share– it all works so well. Bear with me and think about it.

If you were to say to me, if you ask what’s wrong with me/I would tell you it’s everything, when I’m tired and feeling sick/When it’s nothing you could fix/
I want you to know it’s not you

Cause I will never be o.k., this I know, but that’s o.k./Cause my eyes are never shut, while my heart is wide awake/And it’s all that I can do/Tell me, what else can I do?

I’ve got issues, I’ve got scars/In the colors just like yours/I was broken right from the start/I’m not different than you are/I’m not perfect, I’m perfectly flawed/And my scratches don’t hurt much at all/But just like you, I’ve got issues

There were smiles, there were tears, there were times through the years/When I could not remember yesterday, everything’s like a blur, /It loses me round the curve/I’m always in a high speed chase

And I’m tryna get control using everything I know/But nothing seems to work, we’ll never catch it/This I’m sure, and I will not forget you’ve been with me/Step by step

I’ve got issues, I’ve got scars/In the colors just like yours/I was broken right from the start/I’m not different than you are/I’m not perfect, I’m perfectly flawed/And my scratches don’t hurt much at all/But just like you, I’ve got issues

Am I in hell, ‘cause I don’t understand/Is this what they say it is, to be human
And these bandages I wear to keep out the cold/I tell them that I never know

I’ve got issues, I’ve got scars/In the colors just like yours/I was broken right from the start/I’m not different than you are/I’m not perfect, I’m perfectly flawed/And my scratches don’t hurt much at all/But just like you, I’ve got issues

(© 2014 Wind-Up Records, LLC)

One of the standard sayings in the Autism community is “Not broken, just different,” but here, James says he was broken from the start. Maybe our kids feel broken when they know that they are different. They have issues, scars and all that, but then, so do neuro-typical (“normal”) kids. Everyone has issues. Everyone ends up with baggage they carry. So when I hear this song, I feel like it’s a perfect fit for all of us, but especially our special kids. Be proud of who you are and know that you’re just like everyone else in so many ways.

Then another song comes on that touches me as a mother. This is where my oddity comes in. Let me set the scene.

I’m sitting, working away on the computer, half tuned into my feel-good tunes, and another song that touches me starts playing. I put the other half of my ear buds in and lean back, eyes closed. I really listen to it. I feel the emotions and, in my head, I picture figure skaters. I love figure skating; I always have. It’s dancing and I love dancing. I’ve always been fascinated by the choreography. The skill it takes to put movement to music in a way that tells the story. I have pretended I’m really good at choreography for years in my mind when that song comes on. I can just see a single skater sliding into a triple axel here or a spin there… Sometimes, I see a single skater, but normally I see pairs. It’s so beautiful and moving when they tell a story through their movements.

So back to the here and now. This next song is called In My Arms by Plumb. It’s a hauntingly beautiful song. As a mother, I picture sitting with my babies in the rocking chair and singing it to them as they fall asleep. I can’t help it but, I almost cry every time. Here are the lyrics to this beautiful lullaby:

Your baby blues/So full of wonder/Your curly cues/Your contagious smile/And as I watch/You start to grow up/All I can do is hold you tight

Knowing clouds will raise up/Storms will race in/But you will be safe in my arms/
Rains will pour down/Waves will crash all around/But you will be safe in my arms

Story books full of fairy tales/Kings and queens and the bluest skies/My heart is torn just in knowing/You’ll someday see the truth from lies

Knowing clouds will raise up/Storms will race in/But you will be safe in my arms/ Rains will pour down/Waves will crash all around/But you will be safe in my arms

Castles they might crumble/Dreams may not come true/But you are never all alone/
Because I will always/Always love you

Clouds will raise up/Storms will race in/But you will be safe in my arms/Rains will pour down/Waves will crash all around/But you will be safe in my arms

 

As a mother, it calls to mind the feelings we have deep down for our children. Maybe the combination somehow reflects the relationship between parents and kids of special needs. Maybe it’s just me that feels that way.

Hearing these two songs play back to back set my mind off on a tangent of choreography. I saw a single skater pouring his heart out about having issues, but then his partner comes on and together they float over the ice showing how much love they have and they will always be safe with each other. The songs overlap and it becomes this beautiful thing. “I know you love be but I have these problems…” “I don’t’ care about the problems, I’ll always love you anyway…”

I’m almost in tears with what I see, yet I could not do it justice if I tried to explain. I can’t do my imagery justice. Instead, I leave you with the following video of the free dance performance by the gold winners of the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. Maybe, just maybe, your mind will combine what you see with the oddities of my mind and create your own version of a winning program. Enjoy!

 

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Categories: Parenting

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